House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-2.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of speaking to students in a grade 10 civics class this morning in my riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. I asked for their feedback on Bill C-5.

They would like to know if the government is willing to amend the bill and keep mandatory minimums for extortion with a firearm; importing, exporting or possession of drugs for the purpose of exporting; and the production of hard drugs; that is heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and crystal meth. In their opinion, these serious crimes make sense with mandatory minimums.

If these kids get it, why does the government not get it?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what this government does get is that mandatory minimum penalties have been an abject failure in all regards. They do not work to decrease criminality. They do not work to decrease recidivism. All they do is clog up the criminal justice system, cause delays and have a serious disproportionate impact on systemic racism.

Serious crimes in our system will always carry serious consequences. All of the crimes named where the situation is serious will carry a serious maximum sentence.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the supply of fentanyl is a key factor in its just-released projections of the rising number of opioid-related deaths that Canadians should expect to see over the next six months. At the very same time, the Liberal government is trying to eliminate jail time for the very people charged with producing, importing and trafficking fentanyl.

Can the Minister of Justice tell Canadians why his government is trying to make life easier for the drug producers and traffickers fuelling the opioid crisis?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would ask the opposition to stop misleading Canadians. Serious drug traffickers—

JusticeOral Questions

December 16th, 2021 / 3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order.

The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Mr. Speaker, people charged with serious drug crimes, with trafficking and importing, will always face serious consequences in our criminal justice system. That is simply the case. All the mandatory minimum penalties do is clog up the system, and increase systemic racism and the impact of systemic racism within the system. The statistics show the opposition's policy of “tough on crime” is an abject failure and we are going to move beyond it and treat health problems as health problems and criminal justice problems as criminal justice problems.

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, Liberals are doing just the opposite; 4,000 opioid-related deaths by June is the projection just announced yesterday by the government's own agency. That is not just a number, that is 4,000 Canadians who have families, friends and plans for the future. The opioid crisis has affected communities of every single member of this House.

Will the government finally consider the victims of this crisis over its efforts to eliminate jail time for the criminals importing, producing and trafficking these deadly drugs?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right; the opioid crisis is a terrible crisis. On average, about 20 people die of it every day. That is why we need to do things that take into account all sorts of measures that will be helpful to save lives. We are putting into place, in collaboration with provinces, territories and municipalities, measures to reduce harm, reduce risk, and provide safe provisions and access to safe drugs. We will also work with provinces and territories to make sure they have access to services—

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Vancouver Granville.

COVID-19 Economic MeasuresOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Taleeb Noormohamed Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, the constituents of my riding of Vancouver Granville felt the effects of COVID-19 in all aspects of their lives. Thanks to this government's prudent financial management, however, we have seen a strong economic recovery.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance tell the House about some of the measures included in the recent financial update that will continue to support this recovery?

COVID-19 Economic MeasuresOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we learned over the past 21 months is that the most important economic policy is a strong health policy.

In the economic and fiscal update, I announced $2 billion for therapeutics, $1.7 billion for rapid tests and $7.3 billion for vaccines and boosters. That is what we are doing.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs Canada is cutting case workers in March, despite veterans and their families waiting up to two years for the benefits to which they are entitled. Last year alone, the department left over $635 million unspent. This is not helping veterans.

When will the government take action and address the veterans' care crisis?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question and concern. As he is well aware, we have made a number of investments in Veterans Affairs and we have hired over 400 case workers. As we indicated in our platform, we will make more—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am just going to ask the minister if he has a headset handy. It appears he does not have one.

The government House leader.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we know how important it is to invest in veterans. That is why we reversed the cuts that we saw in veterans officers right across this country, as we watched the essential services that veterans were getting be cut—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

One moment, I believe the interpretation has stopped. I will ask the hon. government House leader to start from the beginning and answer that question, please.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we understand the importance of our veterans, who need help. It is unfortunate that there were significant cuts to services.

I will say that what was done to our veterans was absolutely unacceptable. We are going to be there for our veterans every step of the way, making sure that we restore those cuts and support them.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Lehoux Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture entered into an agreement with Quebec this past August to increase the percentage of temporary foreign workers in the agri-food industry from 10% to 20%. Unfortunately, nothing has been done since.

Exceldor, Quebec's largest chicken slaughter plant, is still short more than 300 workers. These delays are forcing them to euthanize chickens. Animals are being sacrificed, and so is producers' revenue. I have a simple question for the minister: When will the 20% rate be applied in Quebec?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to reassure my colleague. As a first step, we signed the agreement with Quebec over the summer. Quebec then went to work with the unions, as we had asked. They came back to the Minister of Employment, who accepted the request. The process is still ongoing, and I very much look forward to our agri-food businesses using this advantage to hire up to 20% foreign workers.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, procedures, procedures, procedures. Sébastien Charrois is a constituent of mine whose family has been raising chickens for generations. He is at the end of his rope. He cannot find enough people to catch and transport the chickens in his barns.

Transportation companies cannot do the work, and they cannot bring in temporary foreign workers. Tens of thousands of chickens are going to be euthanized if he does not find temporary workers. I have a simple question for the government: When will it do what needs to be done to bring in temporary foreign workers immediately?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, our temporary foreign worker programs are extremely important, especially to the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The Minister of Employment, the Minister of Immigration and I can assure the House that we are making headway with this major reform. We want to acknowledge good employers. The vast majority of our employers and agricultural producers are good employers.

We want to find a way to speed up the process and increase the ratio of foreign workers in plants, which has already been done with the Province of Quebec.

Diversity and InclusionOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, since my Motion No. 103 in 2017, we have changed the conversation so that no federal leader could ever pretend that Islamophobia is not a threat. We have made progress since then, including a national summit earlier this year, but as long as Muslim Canadians fear for their safety in the workplace or walking down the street, we have to do more.

Could the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion please tell the House what the government is doing to continue combatting Islamophobia in Canada?

Diversity and InclusionOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, Islamophobia is real and a troubling fact. That is why earlier this past summer we held a national summit on Islamophobia to hear directly from community members about their lived experiences, but also taking concrete steps on how we can assist them further.

I am pleased to inform the hon. member for Mississauga—Erin Mills that we will take further action, including dedicated resources to tackle Islamophobia and working with Muslim Canadians on the appointment of a special representative to tackle Islamophobia. On this side of the House, we will continue to fight hatred in Canada to keep communities safe.